Are you interested in serving God and others internationally, but still need to work during the summer?
Since 2002, our summer program allows young adults to both have a summer job and participate in a short-term service opportunity overseas. Our desire is to provide young adults discipleship and the chance to experience another culture while still allowing them to earn an income. In God’s planning, he placed Global Shore Opportunities in the heart of asparagus farmers—farmers whose harvest season is primarily in May and June. Their desire to provide the summer program lined up perfectly with their need for workers for the asparagus harvest, and this generous partnership continues today, where Sandy Shore Farms and Global Shore Opportunities partner in providing a four-month discipleship, work and service experience. Starting in the summer of 2018, MB Mission has been our partner in discipleship and teaching in the work portion of the program.
The Shore Group is a family-run produce business located in Southern Ontario. Several of the owners of this business are committed, practicing Christians and were involved in some type of short-term volunteer mission work earlier in life. Having been deeply impacted by these experiences, they wanted to allow young people to have the same opportunity, while still being able to earn some money. Out of this desire, the summer program began in 2002. Click through the image gallery below to get a sense of the Ontario portion of the program.
Participants live in a residence called The Ark, a beautifully renovated, brick church building. There is only a short walk from The Ark to the pack house.
The asparagus season itself is a challenging time. Working together with as many as 150 other Shore Fresh Packers employees, you can expect to work very long hours, six days a week. Team members will be employed within the plant, grading and packing asparagus, preparing it for distribution and sale. Mornings are early and days are long.
The Canadian portion of the program is also an intentional time of discipleship. Group nights will be planned throughout the week by your MB Mission and team leaders. As a ministry, we are most interested in raising up disciples of Christ.
At the completion of the asparagus season in early July, the team travels to Guatemala to live and serve in a small town called El Tizate. There you will be immersed in another culture and language while participating in on-the-ground ministry activities. Your stay will include the various components listed below. Your journey of discipleship continues, only now in an overseas context.
As our primary ministry in Guatemala, the team enjoys involvement with the school. Starting the day with the students in the morning devotional is a highlight. Further involvement may include assisting in the TEFL classroom or resource development.
The team develops a children’s ministry activity to span several afternoons. Including Bible stories, games, crafts and songs, this trip element acts to resource and staff significant outreach in partnership with a national church plant.
You will be paired up with a Spanish teacher for individual classes, four days a week. Classes take place in our facility compound, in the terraced gardens.
Coming to Latin America would not be complete without taking in the wealth of beauty. El Tizate is 15 minutes away from the city of Antigua and in addition to touring the city, teams will shop in the local markets, taste Guatemalan cuisine, visit local ruin sites and take a weekend away mid-trip to beautiful Lake Átitlan.
Depending on the current needs, teams will spend time working with a construction crew, painting, cleaning, landscaping, or whatever else is in need. Our teams have helped build homes, construct schools, develop church buildings and improve our current facilities.
Participating in home visits to listen, encourage and pray for families is impacting for all involved. Teams are welcome to connect with students at our school and communicate God’s love to them.
GSO has strong ties to the local church network, La Gloria Que Impacta, which has church plants all over Guatemala. We partner with these churches in offering a children’s ministry activity, taking on a service project, or attending a service, all with the goal of encouraging these pastors and their congregations, and expanding their reach in their communities.
By intentionally setting aside time to meet as a group to worship, reflect and debrief experiences, we desire to optimize opportunity for the Lord to minister to hearts and cultivate life change.
Participants in the Summer Program have the unique opportunity of living in the community where we do our ministry. The Summer Program stays in the Casa Verde, our compound in Tizate, and goes out to host homes for lunches and dinners, building relationships daily with families from our community. Pure drinking water is available at all times. Showers may be cold, and laundry can be done in the “pila”, the communal sink found in every Guatemalan home. While life in Tizate is definitely different than what you are used to, it brings a welcome simplicity with lots of opportunity for growth and learning.
El Tizate is located in a mountainous region, and our school sits at the top of the hill in our town. Teams are active and walk between the school and the facility. Situated in the highlands, the climate is comparable to a Canadian summer. The Summer Program takes place during the rainy season, and it will rain most afternoons. Sights, smells, sounds and tastes will be different: roosters crowing, dogs barking, trucks downshifting, a Spanish pastor preaching late into the night on a loud speaker. Cinderblock homes, cornstalk fences, wood stove fires burning. The townspeople are friendly in the street, and will call out a Spanish greeting. Rigid schedules go by the wayside in a culture more interested in relationship than in keeping an agenda. There is much that is new to experience.
You will be paid by the Shore Group on an hourly basis during the Work Term. Wages are $14/hour and to date, total hours worked are approximately 400 hours during the asparagus season. Certain amounts will also be deducted from your bi-weekly pay-cheques including:
standard employee deductions including, E.I., CPP and Income Tax;
$100 a week for room and board during the time that you are living at The Ark. This amount will cover all of your meals and snacks, seven days a week
Each participant is required to fundraise $4,000. This amount covers:
program costs while on the farm
flight to and from Guatemala
all associated costs for the 7-week mission in Guatemala
debrief back in Ontario at the end of the summer
Fundraising $4,000 might seem like a daunting task, but we think you’ll be surprised when you take a step of faith and trust God to provide. We will be there with lots of fundraising tips and tools along the way.
Applications for Summer 2018 are closed. Check back for 2019 applications in the fall!
“In the first two months of the program in Ontario, through the countless hours spent with the Lord over asparagus, Old Colony Mennonite cultural awareness, evening Bible studies/team nights with our leaders, mentorship, and church community, I began to get a taste of just how much I did not know about who our God is. This gave me a fresh spark, in my bed of embers, to continue to see and grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ. With this striking desire for more of God, the team and I headed to Guatemala for the second half of our trip. Over the next two months, I saw that God was truly at work in this community. I feel like I still have so much more to learn from the Guatemalans about our God and would love to come back again.”
“The summer program for me was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. One of those opportunities that opened up new opportunities for me. My perspectives were changed and God revealed so much more of His love, grace and power to me through Global Shore. I am so very thankful for the ministry and the impact that it had on my life.”
“This summer was life changing for me. I was able to see God work in amazing ways both in the Ontario portion of the program and in Guatemala. Throughout this summer I experienced the love that God has for me as my father, and I am learning to grow in my identity as a daughter of Christ. I have had the opportunity to learn about the true character of God and what it means to be in relationship with him. I am blessed by the relationships that I have made this summer, and for the ways that God has worked in my life and the lives of others.”
“Wow. What a life-changing experience that was! This program was everything I had expected and so much more. I came into the summer in desperate need of renewal and refreshment. Three busy years of college left me very tired and spiritually depleted. Reading my Bible had become a chore, and the hunger I once had for God was lacking. From the first day at the Ark, right up until the program completion, God has generously lavished his love and blessing on each one of us here.”
“Nothing could have prepared me for this summer and the good plans of the Lord. In only four months, the Lord took twenty years of Christian teaching and transformed it into deeply rooted truth in my heart. It’s just like when God spoke the world into being; He spoke life and healing into the darkness and unbelief of my heart. Though I can’t share the entirety of my summer and convey the powerful ways the Lord revived my heart, I can say in all confidence that God has restored hope, faith, and joy in my life.”
“One of the main reasons that I wanted to come to GSO was to put my faith into action! Praise the Lord, I was able to do that in both the barn and in Guatemala. One of the many things that I learned this summer was how important faith and reliance on Christ is for life. I learned that apart from Jesus, I am fighting a losing battle, but in Him I am victorious. I saw the Bible and the Gospel take hold and change lives right before my eyes. God is real and I saw and continue to see Him work.”